Who ya want? - 9-24-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

So with the Penguins' latest round of cuts yesterday, we are left with three-way dances of death so to speak for the extra forward and defenseman spots on the roster. Today, we'll take a look at the six individuals vying for those two spots.


Ryan Bayda

Why Him: Bayda has plenty of experience in the regular season (179 career games) and playoffs having gone to the Eastern Conference final with the Hurricanes last season. He isn't afraid to mix it up with anyone on the ice and brings plenty of energy.

Why Not Him: Bayda's modest size (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) doesn't help his case.

Paul Bissonnette

Why Him: Bissonnette's a team player and will defend any teammate who has seemingly been wronged. He realizes his role and his limitations and finds a way to make the most of his talent. Additionally, an attempt to send him to the AHL could result in losing him through waivers.

Why Not Him: While passionate, Bissonnette is very limited in terms of skill. And the role that could fit his abilities is already seemingly filled by the likes of Eric Godard or Mike Rupp.

Chris Conner

Why Him: The former Dallas Star has speed to burn and has used it effectively this preseason. Additonally, he has displayed a little scoring ability in his limited play in the preseason.

Why Not Him: Conner has had trouble sticking in on an NHL roster having bounced between this league and the AHL throughout his career. He too is also limited by his size (5-foot-8, 180 pounds).


Deryk Engelland

Why Him: At 27, Engelland has plenty of experience (None of it at the NHL level, however). He does bring tougness to the rink as he is more than willing to get physical and will fight.

Why Not Him: Engelland simply hasn't had a strong preseason. At least not as strong as the other candidates. And while he is tough, he offers little in the way of offense.

Nate Guenin

Why Him: The native of Hopewell has had the best preaseason of the three remaining candidiates having blocked several shots and rarely falling out of position. Additionally, he has some NHL experience having appeared in 12 games with the Flyers in his career.

Why Not Him: Guenin, also 27, has had trouble staying in the NHL. And despite playing for a dreadful Flyers team during the 2006-07, he could not consistently crack a lineup depleted of NHL-caliber defensemen.

Ben Lovejoy


Why Him: At 25, Lovejoy is the closest thing to a prospect among the three remaining candidates. He looked solid in two regular seasonNHL games in 2008-09 and offers a fairly complete game having scored 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 76 AHL games.

Why Not Him: First and foremost, Lovejoy's shoulder injury will hamper his chances in many ways. Additionally, he has not had a strong preseason in the defensive zone.

Make your choices down below.

(Photos: Bayda-Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette; Bissonnette-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Conner-Abelimages/Getty Images; Engelland-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Guenin and Lovejoy-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)

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